Content reviewed by Nicholas G. Glines, Executive Director at New Hope Ranch
Having an optimistic outlook is beneficial for your mental and physical well-being. It also serves your addiction recovery. Instead of dwelling on the person you used to be, focus on becoming the person you want to be. Optimism should be a cornerstone of your recovery regimen.
What Does It Mean to Be Optimistic in Addiction Recovery?
Optimism is an attitude of always looking for the best in situations. For example, instead of dwelling on a mistake you made, learn from the mistake. What could you have done better? Looking at life’s challenges in this way will help you cultivate a belief that any endeavor will have something positive to offer.
As confidence grows, so will your faith in handling challenging situations. You will also expand your ability to handle responsibilities that may challenge your mental, physical and spiritual capacity. Soon, you will handle more stress because you always see opportunities.
You will want to develop your sense of confidence and optimism at a comfortable pace. Avoid taking on too much too soon. Maintain reasonable expectations about what you can handle and develop from there.
Optimism and Recovery
Having a positive outlook is an essential tool for lasting recovery. While optimists tend to take on more stress, they are also equipped to handle stress. Additional reasons to develop an optimistic outlook in recovery include:
- Reduces the risk of relapse
- Gives you more energy which also boosts immune system function
- Helps you overcome inconsequential challenges that arise from daily life
- Makes you more likely to achieve your goals
- Helps you understand your addiction and look past the mistakes you made when using
- Cultivates happiness
Staying Optimistic in Addiction Recovery
The past is the past and you cannot change it, nor should you let it define your future. The true power of optimism helps you continue on the path of recovery by being the person you always knew you could be during treatment.
Certainly, life will throw you unpredictable challenges, but when you have a handle on who you are and where you’re going, you will always lead your life with a sense of optimism. If you do find it difficult to look on the bright side, you might try the following:
- Take accountability for your behavior. You might define this term as being responsible in life, but it becomes more specific in recovery. While it is about taking responsibility, it is about finding ways to keep your recovery on track. It often includes breaking negative behaviors related to your addiction and continuing to seek support from family, therapists and peers. It also requires an optimism that you will endure.
- Don’t let your disorder define you. Diagnosis and treatment bring you closer to understanding why you acted and felt the way you did when under the weight of addiction. There is a big difference in understanding what your addiction can do to you and who you are as a person now sober. Optimism in recovery helps you realize that you are not your addiction.
- Try positive affirmations. Affirmations are more than words; they create truths about yourself. Recognizing how far you have come in recovery and what you can accomplish now that you are sober should never be taken for granted. Remind yourself every morning when you wake up and every night before going to bed just how grateful you are for your sobriety and for the opportunity to pursue the goals you always wanted.
- Avoid feeling guilt and shame. Many challenges in recovery stem from feelings of shame and guilt. While it is important to acknowledge past mistakes, you need to learn how to move forward. Learning to forgive yourself helps you move forward, knowing that you are committed to your recovery. In turn, you achieve a sense of closure and confidence to begin looking on the bright side.
Seeing the best in others helps you appreciate the best in you. Giving back in recovery is a great way to accomplish this. Your help will add value and positivity to someone else’s life and that makes you feel good. There is also the idea that what you put out is what you will get back. Some ways you can give back include:
- Volunteer: Finding volunteer opportunities at a local event or charity is a great way to strengthen your community.
- Learn to Listen: Sometimes, all friends, family or peers need is an ear. Being there for someone is a great way to give back. They will appreciate you for it, and you will feel good.
- Become a Mentor: Taking another under your wing trying to manage their addiction is a great way to give back and strengthen the recovery community.
New Hope Ranch can help you become more optimistic by providing you with the resources necessary to maintain a meaningful recovery. Our individual, group and family therapy sessions will help you strengthen your relationship with yourself and others. Being on a 49-acre ranch, we also utilize the benefits of nature all to ensure that you are getting the best opportunity to explore your greatest horizons. If you or a loved one is currently facing challenges in recovery, don’t wait; get help today. To find out more about the programs we offer, call us today at (737) 600-8565.